Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Journey - to Place or Philosophy?

As Plotinus said, it is "a flight of the alone to the ALONE," and as the old Zen poem says:

If you do not get it from yourself,
Where will you go for it?

The art comes from within, but is it the journey to the place or the the journey of the mind that brings it out? The muse without or within? The 20th century philosopher, Alan Watts, compared life to dancing across the room - the purpose of the dance is not to get from point A to point B, but the fun along the way. Oddly enough, I always prefer to drive twenty hours when I could have flown in three. I would rather just slowly cruise across the country for the sake of the journey, itself. Stop along the way to take in the landscape and local citizenry, buy some "Super Rope Licorice" at the gas station and maybe a couple too many "Red Bulls" to stay awake. (Although, I do remember a road trip to Chicago with my friend Hank, a few years back. From personal experience I do not recommend trying to survive for four days on nothing but Yoo-Hoo! and Slim Jims.)

As far as which muse is best - well that's best left to the nature of each artist. Like another Zen poem says:

In the landscape of Spring there is neither better nor worse;
The flowering branches grow naturally, some long, some short.


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